One of the many things that we missed or are missing during the lockdown is dining out in our favourite restaurants. Thanks to the food delivery services, we can whet our appetite for gourmet, restaurant-class meals. Unfortunately, many restaurants had to shut shop in these trying times, and some fortunate ones thrived through home delivery option. But, opening a new restaurant was unimaginable. Well, chef Vikramjit Roy set a precedent by managing this almost-impossible feat. Hello Panda, a pan-Asian delivery service, kicked off during the lockdown period in Gurugram, helping many people satiate their craving for some exotic Asian food.
We also decided to give it a try and got an elaborate 3-course meal packed tautly to our delight.
For the starters, we got Black Pepper Fish and Gongbao Xiaqui - Kung Pao Prawns. Black pepper fish was neatly packed in cute little dumplings that actually riveted our attention first. While the dumplings piqued our excitement, they could do better in pleasing our taste buds. The fish was cooked well but we longed for more flavours in it. Thankfully, Kung Pao Prawns did the job perfectly with a melange of flavours in one single dish. Crispy fried prawns with a host veggies and nuts - this Kung Pao Prawns is for those who like their food hot and spicy.
After a long time we got to taste straight-out-of-a-restaurant noodles and we felt it was the best we ever had. Stir-fried Veg Noodles were mildly flavoured and not overwhelming with vegetables that usually take away the essence of the noodles. While we found Banli Shaoji - Garlic Braised Chicken with chestnuts - slightly lacking in flavours, and a bit too dry, we couldn't have enough of their Vegetable Green Curry. This dish, packed with loads of flavours from rare vegetables and creaminess from coconut milk, was simply put - amazing.
Fried Cinnamon Apple Pie rounded off our meal with part-sweet and part-tart offering. Cinnamon sticks had the right crunch bursting with lip-smacking apple filling.
We will go back to Hello Panda for their out-of-the-world noodles and Thai curry, and maybe try some other dishes off their menu.
About Neha GroverLove for reading roused her writing instincts. Neha is guilty of having a deep-set fixation with anything caffeinated. When she is not pouring out her nest of thoughts onto the screen, you can see her reading while sipping on coffee.